Antique 19th century hand carved Black Forest (Swiss/German) carved bear, either originally to hold matches and rolled paper "spills" which were tools used routinely to light fires, hearth, candles. The long rolled paper wands of sorts would give an extension to the time it takes to move fire between candles of an evening, or to start a warming fire or cook stove. This bear's open log upon which he sits would have been where those rolled papers were stored and the open log in front, match holder. Another option is that he might have had match holder and a few cigars for after dinner service, in place of the spills in that log. And finally, it might be that he was once fitted with a glass inkwell insert and the dip pens would be stored in the open log. You'll find the perfect way to use and display him. The carving is nice and large at 9" tall, and is a remarkable work of anatomical artistry representative of the very best of the Animalier movement that dominated mid-1800s and expressed itself in many forms. The wood carvings being only one. Isn't he just superb! If you've followed us for a while you know I'm a big fan of the old hand carved "Black Forest" items that come to us from 19th century Switzerland, Germany, parts of France and Italy, where they pleased the Grand Tour tourists and still please us all today. These hand carved treasures range from whimsical small bears to large and elaborate mantel clocks, wall clocks, wall plaques showing the most awesome anatomical studies of stag, fowl, "fruits of the hunt". I've got more to list so look through the vast collection. I've just used quite a few piece in our own 2nd home decoration , Rocky Mountains location, and love the look as well as the heritage since my own ancestors hail from that region and others. The pieces work well in Country Manor, French Country, Ski Lodge or Hunt Lodge and even in a den or office. Everything from a pocket watch case to huge plaques - from needle and thread holders to cigar caddy - these decorative objects survive today a testament to the artisan's craft of carving wood.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, this is an original 19th century carving. No copies made last year in China (please please beware of those. One dealer sells exclusively fakes and truly cares not for the truth of what she is doing - deal with sellers you know!). This one is as free of any loss or flaw as any we've found. I find no chips on ears, nose, paws, anywhere. The fur and the bark details bring him alive, truly. Rare fine quality in the carver's art. Looking at him even from the backside, you can see the artist's skill and dedication to the piece in full. Among best of best of the era. The base is 5.75" x 3.75" rectangle with canted corners, and the overall height is a full 9". Just love this one! Our photos are large and clear. We do expect our customers to review them all, evaluate the item based on both our description and our images. Thanks for all the compliments - we love what we do! Antiques & Uncommon Treasure - all the best, all the time!